Pilonidal disease is a reaction to hair growth in the gluteal cleft, better known in layman's terms as the "butt crack". In some individuals, men more than women in this case, the stiffer hairs actually injure the skin.
Sometimes a pilonidal infection is aggravated, but not usually caused, by prolonged sitting or trauma to the area from one or more hard falls. The hairs in the area create a foreign body reaction very similar to a splinter.
About 70,000 people per year in the United States alone are treated by surgery for the complications of this disease. Invasive surgery (i.e. going under the knife) is needed in some cases due to the development of a cyst or abscess in the area from the foreign body reaction.
Pilonidal disease is characterized by pain and swelling in the gluteal cleft with or without abscess. In people with confirmed pilonidal disease, hair removal from the gluteal cleft is a key to treatment.
In fact, many general and colorectal surgeons refer to Maine Laser Skin Care for laser hair removal in the area to prevent worsening of the condition. We have seen many patients who have had recurrences treated surgically, and therefore do not want any further recurrences.
We use a local topical anesthetic first and then use the laser beam to kill the roots of the hair in this gluteal cleft area. After a few sessions, each one about a month apart, there will be significant improvement in amount of hair in the area which reduces the local irritation that starts the process of reaction and later infection.
If you know of anyone who has this painful and sometimes embarrassing condition (considering where pilonidal cysts and abscesses are generally located), let them know that laser hair removal can help prevent worsening and recurrence. As always, one of our free consultations can give you a better idea of what the problem is, even if it isn't pilonidal disease.
Feel free to call our Augusta office at (207) 873-2158 or our Scarborough office at (207) 303-0125 to schedule your next free consultation or other appointment with us. Even if laser treatment may not be the right treatment for you, we will at least point you in the direction of the correct option.